When the Stick Comes Down

When their Valiant 40 is dismasted in the South Pacific, the crew has to scramble to jury-rig a substitute spar. Photos by Rebecca Childress. Read the complete story by Patrick Childress here.

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When a chainplate broke on Brick House, a Valiant 40, a common cruising nightmare suddenly became all too real.Rebecca Childress

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Now the crew had to save the sails. Patrick Childress jumped in to cut the genoa halyard free.Rebecca Childress

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Once_ Brick House_ was safely anchored at Tabiteuea, the job of securing the mast and fashioning the jury rig could really begin.Rebecca Childress

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After sending a messenger line over the mast stump, rope stays could then be secured.Rebecca Childress

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Patrick climbed the stump and removed the radar reflector and the wire stays.Rebecca Childress

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Using blocks and tackle, we secured an upper shroud to the adjacent chainplates.Rebecca Childress

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The culprit was a thoroughly corroded chain-plate.Rebecca Childress

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Motorsailing with the mast tip still scraping the water made the 225-mile run to Tarawa challenging.Rebecca Childress